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Medicare: What's on Tap for 2018?

Don’t get too comfortable with today’s knowledge on the Quality Payment Program. Some changes are being proposed for 2018, mostly related to increased reporting requirements to avoid the 5 percent Medicare payment penalty in 2020.

CMS released its proposed rule for Year 2 of the QPP in late June. The final rule will be released this fall and changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2018.

One of the most important would exclude more surgeons from reporting requirements. CMS proposes increasing the low-volume threshold from $30,000 in Medicare Part B charges or 100 Part B patients to $90,000 in charges or 200 patients. CMS predicted this would exclude 63 percent of all Medicare Part B clinicians in MIPS in 2018.

Other proposals include:

• Leaving "Pick Your Pace" in place for 2018, to allow physicians to gradually become part of the program while slightly increasing the reporting requirements to continue the transition.

• Changes in scoring, including leaving cost out of the overall MIPS score.

• Letting providers participate in MIPS as individuals, groups or virtual groups.